Equity and diversity statement

Equity means equal access and opportunity for all.

Diversity means diversity of skills, experience, background, approach, views, gender, age, culture, ability, ethnicity and language.

Background and rationale

In Australia, there is a growing national consciousness that our STEMM sector faces significant equity and diversity challenges. For example, the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) recognises that women hold only around a quarter of STEMM and ICT related jobs and are significantly underrepresented at senior levels. The Australian Academy of Science considers the loss of diverse researchers, including women, from the national STEMM pipeline to be a significant waste of expertise, talent and investment, which negatively impacts our nation’s scientific performance and productivity.

The Centre Executive Management Committee (EMC) believes that Australia needs to urgently address barriers to equity and diversity in STEMM to:

  • retain our best researchers and innovators to ensure Australia maintains R&D excellence;
  • keep our best and brightest minds in the fields in which they have the most potential to deliver; and
  • ensure social and economic returns on the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars spent each year on training diverse researchers.

The EMC recognises that the ANU, University of Queensland, University of Sydney, Western Sydney University and the CSIRO are all members of the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Pilot.

The EMC also recognises that the ARC is committed to a policy of supporting participation by researchers in the research workforce at all career stages and from underrepresented groups, and to providing a framework that gives researchers flexibility in shaping their careers.

We acknowledge that the ARC’s expectations of Administering Organisations include the expectation that we have policies and procedures in place to support the progression and retention of women and other under-represented groups in the research workforce.

What we commit to doing

We commit to promoting and supporting equity and diversity as core drivers of research and translational excellence and to seeking all possible means of supporting equity and diversity within the Centre, including, but not limited to:

  1. Publishing and examining the diversity (age, nationality, language) and gender composition for all Centre applications, promotions, appointments, personnel categories, promotional material and publications.
  2. Appraising job descriptions and selection criteria for exclusive or gendered language and content.
  3. Appointing diverse and gender balanced (at least 40% representation of each gender) selection panels and committees (including EMC, Advisory Board, EMCR, End-User and IP committees).
  4. Providing support to all staff to balance work and life, including financial support for staff returning to work after having children or taking on other caring responsibilities. Specifically, establishing a fund to support childcare access for conferences, technical support during parental leave or other resources for researchers.
  5. Ensuring family friendly meeting times (e.g. holding meetings between 9:30 and 2:30).
  6. Ensuring diverse and gender balanced panels and speakers at Centre conferences, workshops, public engagement and education events.
  7. Examining and challenging diversity and gender balance at national and international conferences, workshops and events to which Centre personnel are invited.

Supporting resources

  • ARC Gender Equality Action Plan, ARC Research Opportunity and Performance Evidence Statement and ARC Research Workforce Statement (www.arc.gov.au)
  • Australian Academy of Science SAGE Initiative (https://www.science.org.au/supporting-science/gender-equity)
  • National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) (www.innovation.gov.au)
  • Equity and diversity policies and procedures of all collaborating and partner organisations